Helping unlock communication in central Scotland
Jude Philip – “passionate about unlocking potential”
Jake – age 2 1/2. Nonverbal and unable to communicate his needs. Not yet in nursery. No diagnosis but parents quietly wondering about Autism. Attention is very fleeting and he flits around constantly on the move. Not interested in traditional toys. Can get very frustrated. Parents struggling to connect with Jake.
Approach: Following assessment – home-based work to support parents in identifying Jake’s communicative signals, and how to use these subtle signals to have “creative conversations” with Jake and develop their bond. Introduction of Attention Autism programme working to develop Jake’s joint attention skills using activities that will really hook him in and engage him. Developing fundamental comunication skills to help move Jake towards intentional communication.
Ella – age 8. Very articulate. In mainstream school and doing well academically. Parents not seeking diagnosis but aware that she finds social skills and group working difficult. Can get very upset if makes a mistake or there is breakdown in communication. Some difficulties with changes and takes things quite literally. Friendships needing lots of support.
Approach: Following assessment – 6-week Saturday Morning block of Lego Therapy with 2 peers with similar profile. Highly motivating, fun and structured Lego building tasks with group members rotating between different roles. Targets agreed in conjunction with Ella around focusing on her own role and allowing others to do their allocated job, and practical strategies around how to deal with frustration if things don’t go to plan.
Ruari – age 16. Ruari has complex Autism and is nonverbal. He is in a specialist autism provision where he has been well supported and which has suited him well. Parents are starting to think about transition options for Ruari and are keen for a fresh assessment of his communication – to make sure he is using all his communication skills to maximum potential.
Approach: detailed assessment of commmunication skills, with observation across a range of settings. Draw up a detailed communication profile which can be used as part of Ruari’s transition documents. Re-identified some communication strengths which had fallen by the wayside. Ongoing relationship between family and SLT as Ruari begins his transition. Sharing information and passing on key skills to staff in adult placement as required.
Mark – age 29. Mark has Autism and Learning Disability. He is in a residential placement. He received Speech and Language Therapy support as a school child be his profile has not been reassessed in his current setting. Mark’s parents are aware that Mark is no longer using some of the communication support that were successful when younger. Mark is showing a level of frustration when he is not able to make his needs know. They are keen for his communication skills to be reassessed and for advice on how to maximise these in the residential, college and practical settings he accesses.
Approach: detailed assessment of communication skills with observation across his key settings. Advice, implementation and coaching of communication strategies to suit his placement.
N.B. these are not actual cases – but are examples of the kind of assessment and support that I offer